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Last year i went to Europe on a personal photo tour. My journey was a long road which included just about every type of transport invented by man; plane, train, boat, subway, and taxi. I trudged through the rain with a huge pack, weighed down by tripod and camera gear. I walked along the side of the highway to Stonehenge in England. I sat in the pews of St. Chapelle’s in Paris. I crossed over the canal bridges of Venice. Every day I journaled what I saw, what I felt, and what I wanted to capture.
I guess when you are a wedding photographer with clients to keep, clients to find, shoots to edit and albums to create, it’s easy to take the art of photography for granted. This trip I forced myself to slow down and just enjoy being a photographer again.
I wanted to share some of these lessons with you:
Sunset at the Eiffel Tower is beautiful. But it wasn’t until we were walking away that I turned back after the sun went down and saw the exquisite dark clouds creating a gorgeous canvas for the Tower lights.
Visiting the Castle at Angers, my friends and I went from room to room finding beauty. When inside this chapel, I sat down on the floor as the others walked away. I knew I wanted to capture the stunning stained glass windows as the colors fell on the wall. I couldn’t create this shot until everyone was gone.
The grandiose isn’t always the most inspiring. Sometimes being a photographer is more about showing others something they have always seen before- but in a new way.
Many individuals check out the sites that are “famous”. But surrounding these places are lovely little settings like this bench scene. I am in love with benches, and was inspired by this quiet scene away from the noise.
I was photographing this sunset on the Cliffs of Dover with limited time to catch the last train out. The longer we waited, the less time we had to run back a couple miles to the station. But the longer we waited, the more the sunset intensified. I have to admit, we never expected the explosion of color that occurred here.
In Oxford everywhere you look is a photograph. But I realize that I’m also deliberately looking for photographs when I’m in the unfamiliar. I was walking along the Oxford canal behind this woman, and was inspired by the setting – she is just along her every day path in the middle of beauty. I love this shot for that reason.
I visited many churches during my trip. This is one of my absolute favorite photos from my trip. In the middle of a large church, with grandiose scenes, is this little room tucked away from plain sight. There is so much wonder in this setting and it draws me in again every time I look at this photo.
Ultimately my lessons through this journey come back to one thing: Being an artist takes intentionality. Invest yourself and your heart in creating, and there is no limit to the beauty and inspiration you can capture…